In Missouri’s capital, french fry enthusiasts will soon have a new hub: Crazy Fry’s.
The fast-casual restaurant, which is set to open at the end of May, will serve only french fries but in myriad flavor combinations. Freddy Fry’s, for instance, is a pile of crispy fries topped with housemade Alfredo sauce, Parmesan, parsley and your choice of protein – the house favorite is shrimp – while the Caribbean jerk fries are sprinkled with jerk seasoning and served with mango pico de gallo and your choice of protein.
Theo Okuribido and Stallone Watson, the duo behind the concept, are accustomed to serving specialized menus: They once ran a successful food truck in Los Angeles centered on corn off the cob with various toppings. “That was really the birth of our creativity and seeing how people can enjoy it in the kitchen,” Okuribido says of the food truck. “What we’re looking to bring to our customers with Crazy Fry’s is this connection and passion for food, giving them not only good service but a good experience.”
The adventure begins as soon as you pull up to the newly renovated building, where Pizza Kwik operated for almost five decades before shuttering the storefront a few years ago. Watson, who is also a real estate investor, saw the vacancy as a chance to get back in the food industry. “About a year ago, I was driving past our current location and saw a sign dangling in the window, and I decided to call the number on it,” he says. “I saw it as an opportunity for us to bring some of our L.A. flavor to the Midwest. We wanted to bring something that was not in this market at all – someplace that people can say, ‘I want to go here for this experience.’”
The concept at Crazy Fry’s is definitely something new for mid-Missouri. “We’re taking America’s favorite side dish, french fries, and using it like a canvas for people to do whatever they want with it,” says Okuribido. “We thought to ourselves, the combos have got to be crazy because they’ve gotta be something people see and say, ‘Oh wow, I’ve never thought of that.’”
One special will pay homage to the restaurant that came before theirs: The Classic Pizza Kwik Special boasts housemade marinara, shaved pepperoni, Italian sausage, mozzarella, powdered Parmesan and chile flakes. “Pizza Kwik had its fans and did some great things in this space,” says Okuribido. “Ours is a new, fresh approach, but we did want to touch upon the history of the building.”
The menu clearly has plenty of delicious flavor combinations from which to choose, but patrons are also encouraged to add their own toppings to the fries. “We’re trying to tap into people’s creativity,” says Okuribido. “We know that customers, in general, like to customize; they like to see their visions on [the plate].” Okuribido and Watson see Crazy Fry’s as a place for people to play with different flavors without having to stock their own pantries with a collection of ingredients that they might not use every day.
Crazy Fry’s also offers something for your sweet tooth. Instead of a traditional dessert, cap off the evening with an order of Sweet Sundae Fry’s (sweet potato fries with hot fudge, vanilla ice cream, white chocolate sauce and brownie pieces) or Nutella Fry’s (sweet potato fries with Nutella and freshly sliced bananas and strawberries).
Although the options seem endless, customers won’t feel overwhelmed by the menu at Crazy Fry’s. “[As a society] we deal with decision fatigue all the time,” says Okuribido. “We want people to come into the restaurant and see a simple menu that is fun and customizable. We want them to be able to take a deep breath and relax while they’re here.”
The seating areas, including an evergreen-enclosed patio, are also designed for relaxation. “I haven’t seen anything else like [our patio] – which gives you a getaway feel – in the area,” says Watson. “You’re outside, surrounded by greenery, and I think that’s gonna be cool.”
To add to the vacation vibes, Okuribido and Watson have crafted several specialty drinks inspired by the community, including Blue Tiger Berry Lemonade, Jays Strawberry Mint Juice and Capital City Mango, to pair with your meal.
As Crazy Fry’s kicks into high gear, Okuribido and Watson plan on using their fun, family-friendly approach to get out in the community and find more ways to bring people together and increase the good energy around town.
The grand opening of Crazy Fry’s is scheduled for May 30. After that, the restaurant will be open seven days a week from 11am to 9pm. Okuribido and Watson are also looking for more people to join their team; visit Crazy Fry’s website to upload your résumé.
Crazy Fry’s, 1121 E. Miller St., Jefferson City, Missouri, crazyfrys.com